Oshwal Academy rolls out modern classrooms to enhance learning
Nairobi, 20th February 2016, Oshwal Academy is introducing modern classrooms to enhance teaching and learning in their schools. The classrooms have tailor-made features designed to accelerate learning among students in line with changing trends globally.
The modern classroom is already operational at Oshwal Academy Nairobi Nursery campus with plans under way to roll out the concept to the rest of the schools in the next month. Head of Nursery at Oshwal Academy Nairobi Munira Adamjee says the modern classroom, anchored on technology, seeks to stimulate creativity, innovation, collaboration and other social skills among children. “We are responding to the rapidly changing demands of the 21st century,” says Mrs Adamjee.
The advent of modern classrooms is an indicator of how the learning environment is critical to learning. “Environment is actually the third teacher,” says Doris Mwaura, Assistant Head of Teaching and Learning at the Nursery campus. “Teaching involves the environment, which we have choreographed to enable students to pick up specific skills.”
A supportive school and class environment can greatly improve on learning, according to a group of Design Council researchers in the UK and the USA who studied the impact of school buildings on performance of students. When this environmental improvement is embedded in pedagogy, the teacher is able to create conditions where creativity thrives, knowledge is widened and understanding is deepened. The students flourish by taking their own, but guided, direction in learning.
The way the classroom is designed, the lighting in the room, air quality, temperature, colours, the quality of flooring, flexibility of the furniture and easy access to learning resources including ICT combine to either help or hinder the way a teacher can do their job.
“To drive up the quality of learning and teaching, we are not only up-skilling all our teachers but to also giving them the tools to do their job properly,” says Oshwal Academy Director of Academic Development Showkat Badat . “In the 21st Century, learning isn’t just about remembering facts recalled for an examination to be passed. It is much more about giving our children the essential skills needed so that they have a fighting chance as adults to succeed in an increasingly globalized and complex world that they will have to live in.”
The nursery modern classroom at Oshwal Academy is equipped with teaching resources such as Lego Education, iPads, Smart Boards, Apple TV and so much more. The classroom is zoned to facilitate personalized learning, collaboration, research and quiet study. “Lessons are therefore likely to be student-centered involving group work, individual research or investigative projects. In many ways, this is how successful commercial organisations operate,” says Mr Badat.
Mrs Adamjee clarified that technology is not replacing reading and writing which is especially critical at early years, she noted that technology is being used as a stimulus to enrich and ensure effective learning. “All surfaces in our classroom including the walls have been fitted with white boards. Children can therefore write on walls, desks, books whenever they are inspired.”
“The result of all this, is that students have shown greater confidence and independence and most importantly they are excited to learn. With the new technology, our teachers are more effective and are bringing out the very best in our students,” said Mrs Adamjee.